Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When Old Hymns are Revived

"His Love Can Never Fail"
I do not ask to see the way
My feet will have to tread;
But only that my soul may feed
Upon the living Bread.
'Tis better far that I should walk
By faith close to His side;
I may not know the way I go, But oh, I know my Guide.
His love can never fail, His love can never fail,
My soul is satisfied to know His love can never fail.
My soul is satisfied to know His love can never fail.

And if my feet would go astray,
They cannot, for I know
That Jesus guides my falt'ring steps,
As joyfully I go.
And tho' I may not see His face,
My faith is strong and clear,
That in each hour of sore distress
My Savior will be near.
I will not fear, tho' darkness come
Abroad o'er all the land,
If I may only feel the touch
Of His own loving hand.
And tho' I tremble when I think
How weak I am, and frail,
My soul is satisfied to know
His love can never fail.
Words: E.S. Hall, Music: Christopher Miner

Indelible Grace and Matthew Smith were in Louisville last night and gave a concert at Clifton Baptist Church. My husband and I were first exposed to Indelible Grace during our first semester at Southern. Many of the more reformed Baptist churches in the area use their music in corporate worship, and we had the opportunity to see them perform on campus during the fall of 2005. We have loved their music ever since. Here is the interesting thing about Indelible Grace for those of you who are unfamiliar with their music: the songs themselves are not new. Indelible Grace seeks out old hymns, many of which you won't find in the traditional Baptist hymnal, and reworks the music. The rich lyrics stay the same, with the exception of an added chorus or refrain on a some of the hymns. Not only do they bring out hymns that we may not have ever heard, but they do also sing the ones you will still hear in Baptist churches. However, Indelible Grace incorporates new melodies and arrangements that seem to enhance the lyrics all the more, bringing to life the crux of the message. The songs are so different I have to remind myself at times that they are the same hymns I have heard since my youth. My husband's favorite song by Indelible Grace is "Come Ye Sinners" performed by Matthew Smith. This is the exact same hymn one will find in the Baptist hymnal with the addition of some phrases at the end of the verses. Here is just one example of why we have been so encouraged by their approach to these hymns and incorporating them into worship:

"Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requires
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He gives you, this He gives you,
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam

Why can't all worship music be so rich? Indelible Grace has shown through their vision and ministry to the Church that there is no reason why "old" hymns can't stir our hearts to such sweet and sound worship.

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